Congratulations to Knott's Berry Farm for winning the 2013 Golden Ticket award, Turnstile Award, from the publication Amusement Today (AT), for the refurbishment of the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which opened this summer.
I don't really know much about the awards or publication, but I copied the text from the section of the September 2013 issue of Amusement Today announcing the awards. I saw the news on the Twitter feed of Brady MacDonald (@latimesfunland), who writes about theme parks for the L.A. Times.
Here's the link to the award publication (page 29 of the 44-page document):
Knott’s preserves its ‘heirloom’ log ride
A dependable turnstile-spinner
for Knott’s Berry Farm
in Buena Park,
Calif., for 44 years, the
cemented its place as the most
popular attraction at the park this season
with the completion of a $5 million-plus
The ride’s structural and extensive animatronic
figure makeover, performed under the direction and
watchful eye of Raffi Kaprelyan, vice president and
general manager of Knott’s, has spurred guests to
“log” as many as three trips per visit on the themed
flume/dark ride hybrid’s 2,100-foot course.
Telling the story of a late-19th century logging
community and sawmill in the Sierra Nevada, the three-level Timber Moun
-tain was the brainchild of late theme park pioneer
Wendell “Bud” Hurlbut, who also created the classic Calico Mine Ride
San Bernardino,Calif.-based Garner Holt Productions, a major
supplier of park and museum animatronics, provided hundreds
of state-of-the art animated figures and
props— most modeled directly from the preexisting scenes.”
Bill Butler, Garner Holt’s creative design director, took what he called
a “preservationist’s approach to the project that he hoped would carry it
through the next 45 years.
“Bud Hurlbut said in an interview that he really wished he could’ve gotten
back to [his Knott’s] attractions to add new technologies... we wanted to
enhance and continue to tell the story of the logging camp and add to that
new animatronics technologies that would really change the way we’re able to
create characters and scenes.” Butler told AT.
Park general manager Kaprelyan felt a strong sense of duty to Hurlbut’s
legacy and the decades-long loyalty Knott’s customers have shown to Timber
Mountain when he undertook the complex decision-making that went into the
“This ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it also
set the bar for all themed attractions that came after,” Kaprelyan told
AT atTimber Mountain’s grand reopening in May. “Bud made numerous contribu
-tions to the park, but I think that this one remains his crowning achievement.”
ATcouldn’t agree more, and therefore it honors the Timber Mountain
Log Ride with the 2013 Turnstile Award.
Working with Garner Holt Productions, Knott’s Berry Farm spent more than
$5 million refurbishing the classic 44-year-old Timber Mountain Log Ride.
The project included new animatronic figures, LED lighting, an improved
sound system, and new paint and trees on the mountain’s exterior. The attraction
has been drawing record ridership since its May 30 reopening.